12 Signs You’re Coping with a Mood Disorder
Mental health treatment has come a long way in the past few decades. It’s easier than ever for people suffering from mood disorders and other mental health conditions to identify their symptoms and seek comprehensive treatment.
What is a Mood Disorder?
With so many terms floating around, you might be wondering “what is a mood disorder anyways?” Mood disorder symptoms vary from person to person. Everyone experiences these conditions differently. In general, a mood disorder impacts your ability to function on an emotional level. You may experience varying degrees of depression, anxiousness, irritability, or apathy. Here are some general signs you or a loved one are coping with a mood disorder. You may experience just one or several.
- Your energy levels are chronically low.
- You’ve lost interest in activities you used to enjoy.
- You always feel bored and can’t seem to get motivated.
- You have no appetite or can’t stop eating.
- You’re experiencing sleep disruptions, insomnia, or oversleeping.
- You always feel sad or bummed out.
- You’re experiencing mood swings or irritability.
- You turn to alcohol or drugs to change your mood.
- You feel chronically guilty or worthless.
- You have periods where you experience poor judgement, restlessness, or even euphoria.
- You’re generally apathetic or indifferent.
- You have a hard time focusing and concentrating on daily tasks.
Types of Mood Disorders and Their Symptoms
It’s important to understand the differences between different mood disorders so you can be aware of the signs and symptoms. By educating yourself, you can take a proactive approach to ensure the safety and wellbeing of yourself and loved ones. Help is out there, and it’s okay to speak up.
Major Depressive Disorder
Major depressive disorder (MDD) is also known as clinical depression. This type of depression is characterized by feelings of guilt, apathy, sadness, and worthlessness that interfere with your ability to function on a daily basis. You may also experience physical symptoms such as weight gain, weight loss, or chronic pain.
Dysthymia is essentially a low-grade yet long-term type of depression. Symptoms usually last at least two years and may include apathy, lack of self-esteem, low energy, and loss of concentration.
People suffering from bipolar disorder usually experience drastic mood swings. Individuals may seek thrills one day and exhibit signs of depression another. Symptoms include periods of mania with risk taking behavior followed by bouts of major depressive disorder.
Cyclothymic disorder is a milder form of bipolar disorder. Individuals facing this disorder can typically function on a day-to-day basis without the disorder interfering with their lives – although it can still be a challenge. Periods of highs and lows usually don’t come and go as quickly as they do with bipolar disorder.
Substance-induced Mood Disorder
Regularly taking substances like alcohol, drugs, or medications can induce mood disorders like depressive disorder, bipolar, or any others on this list. Likewise, stopping medication, drug, or alcohol use can also set off a mood disorder. In many cases, symptoms of a mood disorder can be aggravated or encouraged through the use of alcohol, drugs, and medications. Using drugs or alcohol to self-medicate your mood disorder creates a vicious cycle that can reinforce symptoms.
Health-related Mood Disorder
It’s very common for medical conditions and poor health to trigger mood disorders – especially in people with chronic disabilities. Chronic pain and depression go together because one can prompt the other and vice versa. A sedentary lifestyle and obesity can also cause depression and other mood disorders to manifest.
When Should You Seek Help and What Does Mental Health Treatment Include?
If you’re experiencing any of the 12 signs listed above, there’s no reason you should have to suffer through life without help. Many people may put off seeking help for their mood disorder if it doesn’t impact their ability to work or they can still get out of bed in the morning. The truth is, mental health treatment is available for anyone suffering any degree of a mood disorder. At the same time, if you’re experiencing any of the following, you should seek out help as soon as possible:
- Suicidal thoughts or actions.
- Self-harm or behavior that could put you in danger.
- Your mood disorder makes it hard to get out of bed in the morning.
- You’re missing days of school or work due to your symptoms.
- Personal relationships with your friends and family are deteriorating.
- You’re homeless or on the verge of becoming homeless due to your symptoms.
Remember that even if you can function and your life isn’t on the verge of collapse you can and should still seek help for coping with your symptoms. This can help avoid exasperating your symptoms or turning to unhealthy coping tools like alcohol or drugs.
Mental Health Treatment for Mood Disorders
All mental health treatment should be completely personalized. No one experiences symptoms the same way and each person has their own unique environmental conditions. That’s why it’s important to develop an individualized treatment plan to help you recover. No matter your symptoms or condition, treatment options are very similar. How they’re applied to your case is what varies.
- Mood stabilizing medications – either short term or long-term.
- Substance abuse detox and recovery programs.
- Learning healthy coping mechanisms for dealing with symptoms.
- Identifying which environmental conditions trigger your symptoms.
- Building positive communication techniques to properly express your feelings and develop relationships.
- Sticking to a brain healthy diet.
- Physical activity.
If you’re in need of help, talk to your primary care doctor or a local social worker to discuss your case and treatment options. You can also contact the National Suicide Prevention hotline at 1-800-273-8255.
One Love Services: Comprehensive Mental Health Treatment
One Love Services utilizes an evidence-based, highly structured, and comprehensive treatment program for mood disorders and other mental health conditions. No one’s mood disorder is the same. That’s why we provide both inpatient and intensive outpatient options to develop a personalized treatment plan. Our staff includes psychiatrists, registered nurses, social workers, dieticians, and activity therapists to guide your integrative recovery process.